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January 2007
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March 2007

Most People I know Think That I'm Pale-zy

I haven't been well. Well, I'm normally not well, but now I am unweller. Happy numbers like 135 Ouch seem like a dream, and my usual 94ish a possibility one day: but now my number is 65 and sinking and I am quite, quite pale. I have had some 'core' samples taken with a particularly unpleasant needle thingy (I hope mine was green like this one!!!) thankfully dulled by the wondrous drowsy drugs!!! And 47 vials of blood have been extracted, yet we are all still undecided. Happily I will be able to have some treatment on Friday so I will be feeling more chipper for a week or two. I am, therefore, a terrible blogger at the moment. It is still far too hot, record-breakingly hot, and after taking The Labradors for a walk, I can just about manage a 4 or 5 hour sleep for the rest of the day before it is time to go to bed again!!! I am not complaining, I am just explaining. I have summoned the energy to read my BloglOn_our_way_homeines, but commenting and posting has been too much of an effort!! I am so bad. I have emails and comments to catch up on. Takut: Takut Sekali!!!

Billy Thorpe is much worse off than me: he actually died early this morning. I am not a great fan of Billy and his Aztecs, but I find that I know quite a few of his songs and he was only 60 years old.

The Labradors are happy, if hot. Peri has developed a little balding patch on her leg-of-Lamb left leg. It is not red, or inflamed, or itchy. We are monitoring it. Harki is just hot and the weather is so strange, rainy then stormy then hot again, that it plays merry hell with her hips. There has been no naughtiness or inappropriate behaviour, so I expect they are workiBluegreen_algaeng up to something very bad indeed. They can't swim because the dam is full of the deadly Blue-green algae, and it is really, really green too.

Thanks Sock_wool_and_samuel_clemens_1_1to a heads up on I(Heart)Knitting I am the happy owner of some Patonyle sock wool at only $3-50 a ball. I bought 7 balls, enough for 2 pairs of socks for my friends and some for Mr Madcage, he of the 28cm feet..greater love hath no woman than to knit 4ply socks for her friend's husband!!!! So I have started the Samuel Clemens socks, in a K2P2 rib. I am not using a pattern as is my wont!! I have also finished one of my Aunt's chocolate socks, her name inspired their Druid_sock_1 name: The Druid Socks!!! We are a short-legged/footed family and so the leg was just 16 rows of rib and then 32 rounds of knit, and the foot only 36 rounds from the end of the gusset decreases to the start of the toe. I gussied them up a bit with 8 rows of lace just before the toe: yfwd K2tog on the instep needle, Knit another round, K2tog, yfwd on the instep needle, Knit another round. It is very effective and I have tried it on and it fits perfectly.

I have been tagged by Barbara, so here are 10 random things about me:Resting_at_the_summit

  1. I love Harki and Peri!!!!
  2. I painted my lounge room teal and aqua to match the colours in my Star Wars Episode 1 picture!!!
  3. I quite like purple.
  4. Hats don't suit me at all.
  5. Babies frighten me.
  6. I can read a 600 page book in one day.
  7. I have 5 ear piercings and if one kind of closes up I just push the earring right through!!
  8. Don't sit next to me at the cinema, I hide behind my hands or worse, and I am easily frightened.
  9. Instead of saying a Hail Mary between each bell when I rang the Angelus at school, I would  just run up and down the stairs once.
  10. I have enough shoes to wear a different pair every day for 5 weeks!!!

Rheumati-stiltskin

Two_hot_dogs_without_mustardApparently, according to my mother, if I go to bed with wet or even damp hair I shall get rheumatism of the head. I dare not mention a wet towel...It is the only way The Labradors and I have been able to sleep or live for the past week: Ice in Mr Cooly, myriad cool showers, spritzing with coldA_bag_for_pasha_1 water, lying under wet towels, wearing slightly damp clothes and playing with the hose in the paddle pool. The temperature inside the house has barely dropped below 30*C for the last 6 days and nights and truly, if it doesn't cool down soon, I really will melt. I am unable to function properly. I rang MrsDrWho to tell her I might be a little late for tea on Friday night. Yes. Great. I was about 24 hours too early. Tea was on Saturday night.

My One Hour Craft Bag Swap Bag has arrived at its destination and I have posted a picture oLittle_almost_felted_pursef it on the Flickr group. Pasha liked orange and vintage, but there's no vintage to be had here, so I found retro instead!! I made a zippered pocket in the lining and I knitted a little felted purse to match. I am a too tentative felter and I always just stop short of total felting out of fear of too much felting.Music_and_lyrics

I sought refuge from the heat in the cinema with MrsDrWho and saw Music and Lyrics. I loved it!! It was a romantic comedy and you should expect nothing more, but it was funny and witty and sad and then happy!!! I also hummed along, on the inside, to the music. It was very 80s but I like the fact that the tunes are memorable and you can hear all the words!!! I am pretty sure Pop may have been a real group!! Frank was in a movie at the weekend: The Tender Trap. Not young and handsome Frank, ( he was 40 and Debbie Reynolds 23) but I do love his voice. It can make me swoon!!!

I have a tomato crop. Yes, I have managed to grow 2, and then 2 more tomatoes. So far they gave cost $4-50 each, but they did taste delicious. I picked them yesterday and in the photo you can just see Peri's little eyes peeping over my hand as she waited for a taste of the precious crop. The Labradors did indeed eat half a cherry tomato each. In truth they My_crop_and_peri_waiting_to_eat_one don't like tomatoes but these are sweet, and I have seen Peri trying to nibble the tomatoes from the plant now!! Luckily they are behind chicken wire, otherwise I think my crop might remain at 4!!!

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and then Ash Wednesday and then Lent all the way through till Easter. I think it is too hot to be making pancakes, but it is a tradition that survives till this day.

Of knitting and sewing there has not been a stitch since last Tuesday. It is all I can do to just 'be' in this heat. To Be, and to Walk The Labradors: these are my goals until the cooler weather arrives!!


Dental as Anything

Labradors_cant_hideI'm not Mental about things dental. I don't mind going to the dentist at all. My teeth had a little clean and a little polish and off I went. It does make my teeth feel like aliens for a day or two, but now they feel quite normal again. Going to the dentist is hideously expensive, even with insurance, but I like my teeth and I want to keep them!!

Harki and Peri have been having a wonderful cool time lately. They have really run about on their Harki_loves_her_walk walks and played at home. Today the weather has taken a turn for the hot again: school goes back tomorrow and we are expecting very high temperatures for the next 5 days. I shall have to put some ice into Mr Cooly so we can all sleep.

Half of the BBBB is complete. Of course now it is too hot to knit another half a blanket, so I have started a pair of socks for my aunt for her birthday. She has small feet and likes Bbbb_half_the_bbbb short socks so I should be able to make a pair from the rest of the Chocolate wool.

I have posted off my One Hour Craft Bag Swap, but my swapper (swapee?) Pasha (blogless) was too quick. If this was Bag Wars she would have won!! My bag is beautiful. It is green, it is made from beautiful green material, it has different green material inside, it has pockets and divisions and a pen and pad and some chopsticks!! It has a gorgeous green button, and the most fabulous straps/handles too!! The BareNakedLady is modelling for your pleasure!! You can see One_hour_craft_bag_swapthat Pasha sent a photo that is a clue to where she lives: Tucson, Arizona!! Thank you so much Pasha for the most beautiful bag!! It is almost, but not quite, too beautiful to use!!! I will be able to fit my Buffy Diary, wallet, camera, mobile etc in my new bag, no worries!!!!

For almost 20 years I obsessively collected the German sewing magazine, Burda. I stopped a few years ago, I had about 250 magazines and although fashion is circular it never really repeats the same styles exactly. Now Burda have an English language site with free patterns to print out. I like the wrap around dress of course. I bought enough material to make a dress with the change in the bottom of my handbag yesterday, $4!! What a bargain. Actually if you go to The Black Spot of Doomlight (TM) you will find that it is one of many 'Bargins".

I want to see Music and Lyrics. I know it has floppy-haired apologetic Hugh Grant, but I like him, I like almost all his films. His co-star is Drew Barrymore, whom I liked in The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed and 50 First Dates. This is a Valentine's Day film. I'm not a Valentine's day person, never have been, it seems a very American thing. I believe it is catching on in a commercial sense, but if you like Valentine's Day, I hope you had a wonderful time!!!


The Roof's a Balloon!!

Much as I like David Niven, I am far more interested in an architect who has designed a building where the roof really is a balloon!! Knowing my affinity with gardening (Ha!!) no-one will be surprised to hear that on Saturdays I give  91.7's Peter Cundall the flick and listen to RNBy Design always has some interesting items and I like to listen if I am walking with The Labradors. Today there was a lot of interesting discussion of Buildings that Think. I hope Peter Cundall doesn't feel neglected: he once gave me a gardening diary in the vain hope... and his son was Best Man at DO's wedding. It's just that gardening and me, we're just 'on a break' permanently!!! I'm obviously going for the world record of clicky links in a paragraph today!!

Runnin_in_the_rain It has been humid/hot all week and so The Labradors and I were so happy to wake up to rain this morning. We walked in the rain, they ran in the rain, they paddled in the puddles at the dam and careened through the bush getting thoroughly wet. We are all quite wet, but they've been fed and now they are outside in the coolness napping. Silas from The Knittin' Kitten is having a birthday. He is 4 years old and he has a sister, Saffy. The essence of Labradority is world wide. It is amazing how similar Harki and Peri are in their ideas and activities to Silas and Saffy: they play the same games, do the same things and have the same thoughts!!! In true Labrador fashion Peri has been giving me a giantly big hint that she has been hungry. It is her best trick, she doesn't have many, but carrying her cake-tin-for-a-dish around in her mouth is so cute and she looks at me with starved eyes and pleads for food!! Earlier this week Peri_is_starving Harki had a sore back leg/hip. I have bought her some Glucosamine capsules and she is having one sprinkled in her breakfast every day. I think she hurt herself running up the garage steps when the gate was open and her access was suddenly cut off. She seems very happy again and had a big run today.

Yes, I do love my new bag but I am a fashion imbecile and had to google a Kelly Bag to see what it was. I did guess it might have something to do with Grace, and I was right, and the style of my bag Cleo_is_helping is very derivative, but the price is definitely not!! This weekend I am making my Bag Swap bag. The cool weather has fortuitously arrived and my material and bits and bobs have been inspected by Cleo and pronounced 'playable' and so I B7_and_blakes_7_logo_sockshave thrown the material in the washing machine and I'm just waiting for it to dry. I am attempting Felting Item #2. Wish me luck!!! I am using some variegated Jet in Lolly Orange to match the material. I have to post the bag by Monday so I'm glad the local PO is open tomorrow!!

The Blake's 7 Socks are complete. They are a companion piece to each other, rather thaBlakes_7_socksn an identical pair. One sock has B7 knitted into the leg and the other has the Blake's 7 logo. They were MrsDrWho's birthday socks from last year, so that didn't take long did it???                                 

The Blake's 7 socks: My own pattern and logo design, made from The Knittery's Moonlight Cashmere sock wool. I started them on 7th November and finished them on the 9th of February.

School starts for the teachers on Monday and then for the children on Thursday. This is always a boogelly time of year for me, so I have a dental check up on Monday and a doctor's appointment on Tuesday and a get together with similarly sick people on Wednesday: that should take my mind off things. We had a yoga session on Wednesday, and it was very relaxing!! Also, afterwards there were tasty sandwiches, egg ones, and a yummy fruit platter. They have just opened a branch here and I come under their umbrella!! If you ever have the opportunity to support them, please do, just saying, no pressure!!!

So, I now have a bag to make and a coin purse to knit and felt by tomorrow and then my Backwards Baudelaire: Greenery Snicket, and my second Sinatra sock to finish. I also have just the toe of the last lurking Turing sock to knit. I dyed the wool and I ran out just before the toe so I have to dye a Atlantis_team_season_2 smidgen of wool, and I just haven't been motivated enough to do it.

MrsDrWho and I have, however, been very motivated in our Stargate:Atlantis watching and we have seen the whole of Season 2, we finished it yesterday. The whole Stargate franchise has a penchant for finishing the season with a cliffhanger, with the team separated and in individual peril. Season 3 hasn't been box setted yet, but no doubt we will be able to buy it long before it ever reaches our TV screen here. Our next goal is to watch ordinary Stargate to the end of Season 9 so we are all ready for Season 10, whenever that appears!! And that's 16 clicky links I thinks!!!

Sorry, sorry, sorry to Blogline people, but I forgot to mention my kind of car crash. Everything is fine, all my indicators and brake lights are fine, I am fine!! I was at the intersection of my road with the highway and there was an impatient youth in a ute behind me. I edged forward a little to see around the cars parked outside the shops on the right and then 'Bang' he crashed slightly into the back of my car. No dents, no damage and he was far more stressed than I was as it was his mistake!! It was his work car I think. We exchanged details as one should, but everything is OK!! I did have some Rescue Remedy Pastilles when I came home, but other than that, no repercussions!!! This is good as I am still Saying No To Sock Wool to 'pay' for my indicators!! I have been strong twice so far, only 18 more Nos to go!!!


Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Labrador Lies!!

Harkis_happy_1 The Labradors tricked me this morning. They tricked me with their pleading eyes, perky ears, wide smiles and waggy tails: I took them for a walk even though it wasn't a walking day!! I was out of bed, dressed, in the car and driving before I thought,"Wait a minute, I took them for a walk yesterday." By then it was too late Ethel, I'd already been incensed, and The Labradors were wearing no clothes... It is so dry at the dam and in all the bush. The torrential rain we had a week ago may as well not have happened. January had quite heavy rainfalls but not enough to make a difference. The ground everywhere is dry and cracked and all the Peris_happy_2 grasses have died or are barely alive. We are luckier than most as we have water in the huge dam just up the road, but it has never been drier in the last 20 years I've lived here. I think it would be a jolly good idea for the State Government to get back the $15 million they spent on a footy team, and the $50 million they are spending on a racecourse, and shout every house a rainwater tank. What an excellent way to spend our money. Of course, we don't wDrought_and_dogsant a pulp mill belching out pollution 24 hours a day, it will settle on the roof and then go into the tank.

Vegetable news!! Well they are actually fruits, but 'Fruit news' sounds a bit dodgy!! Killer_tomatoes I planted 3 tomato and 3 zucchini plants before Christmas and Lo!! there has only been one casualty. I have 3 tomato plants bearing fruit and 2 zucchinis about to. I have been a little slack in the watering department, but I've made a big effort for the last 2 days and I'll give them some smelly fertiliseZucchinis_not_in_bikinisr mixture in a bucket of water tomorrow. There are actually little tomatoes , in all their greenery, ready to ripen!! I am very pleased. The zucchini will be for The Labradors, but the tomatoes are all for me!!! I might even plant something else, though I don't know what should be planted now. I definitely don't have a green thumb.

There is little new on the knitting front. The weather yesterday was so hot it made in unbearable to just be, let alone do anything. There have been a few listless rows on the BBBB and a few lacklustre rows on the Blake's 7 sock #2. I did knit Cleopatra a Cleo_and_her_cat_toy cat toy filled with catnip. She was very tired and decided the toy was a pillow, but I have it on good authority that her attitude has changed now, and I quote MrsDrWho:  If hunting and killing was all it took, the cat toy you made for Cleopatra is dead as a door nail. She has hunted it all over the house all morning and killed it lots. It has been dead in my bed several times.... Cleo's Cateau is just about complete now and she loves playing in it!!!

Almost lastly, and not leastly, I have a new bag. It is a bag bought because of Fate: the same Fate that lets me go to the Library if there is a parking place right outside!! I saw this bag, 50% off, a My_new_bag fortnight ago, and I promised myself that if it was still there when I next went to the shop, the bag would be mine: and so it came to pass that the bag was there, and it is Mine!!! It is big enough for all my things and it also has a long adjustable shoulder strap too. It has faux ostrich leather on the front. I actually have a little leather bag with real emu leather on the front. It does look like this, kind of dotty and green too.

Now, lastly. Foyle's War is on the ABC tonight. I love Foyle's War, it has such an eye for detail and there is little forensic policing, but it is not slow or boring. I like all things written by Anthony Horowitz, even Crime Traveller!!!


Wool and Grace

I was going to call this post "Jack is Back, Oh oh oh oh, I Want My Baby Back!!", but I was swept up in the final episodes of Will and Grace and that was that really. I had a lovely cry at the wonderful synchronicity and serendipity of it all and suddenly it was over.

Rock_a_bye_baby There is wool. There is going to be a baby - not a Labrador and definitely not me, but a friend's sister. I'm knitting The Big Bad Baby Blanket but since we don't know if the baby will be a girl or a boy, MrsDrWho and Mrs E(Rosie and Clara's mum) were my colour advisers. I pointed out  Bendigo's Soft Plum and Aster and we lingered over Aqua and Raspberry until they both said they thought green would be an excellent choice!! I just happened to have 4 balls of Celery and so I was away. It is a labour of love as I am using a 5.5mm circular needle and 2 strands of wool together, but it is knitting up beautifully.

I am also making footway on the Blake's 7 sock #2 and you can seeB7_socks the B7 reasonably well. I am halfway up the heel, so not much to go now. It is the agony and the ecstasy of knitting: 5.5mm and 2 strands of 8ply and 4ply on 2.25mm. OK if bits of this make no sense it is because I am breaking the land speed record to jump up, walk into the  loungeroom and take the ads out of '24' every time I hear those beeping sounds!!! So far '24' is so good, but they will have to work hard to retain my attention.

Harki_had_a_doggone_good_time More Labrador walking adventures: Harki having a little 'me' time out from all the children and Peri. She is very gentle and careful. She never knocks into them and when they hold her lead she is perfectly well behaved. Harki is also very protective of me, when she meets someone new she likes to just be beside me to make sure they are OK. If she decides to run ahead a little she stops and checks I am still coming.  Harki is a lovely Labrador!!!

Peri is a different kettle of fish. Now she is 5 she is less enthusiastic and she doesn't jump up or knock people over, but her wagging tail has a wicked thwack and she runs like the wind, weaving in and out of the trail of walkers. Peri also loves to roll in anything boogelly, which she does at every opportunity. She loved playing with the children and even walked sensibly on her lead for them. PeriPeri_has_a_roll_1  is such a good girl now!!!

Today we are making Greek yoghurt. The Labradors had the end of the ordinary yoghurt with tuna mixed in, It was doggy delicious. I plan on making some yoghurt cheese in the near future, so here's the recipe.

Yoghurt Cheese

1 kg plain yoghurt

You will need a bowl, a sieve and some muslin, cheesecloth or a chux-like cloth. Line the sieve with the cloth, pour in the yoghurt and then place it over the bowl. Leave to drain in a cool place for 8-10 hours. Now I expect if you live in the tropics, the fridge would be the best place, but overnight here it is going to be cool, so I would leave it out. When the whey has all drained away, place the 'cheese' in a covered container and it will keep in the fridge for a week.

You can roll the cheese into balls and then :

  • season with salt and pepper
  • garlic
  • roll in fresh herbs 
  • roll in dried herbs or spices and store in olive oil
  • whip with sugar and cream to make a dessert topping
  • sweeten and roll in nuts and serve with desserts

Really you can just use your imagination, and it can be used in place of cottage cheese too